Johor prince calls truce in verbal spat with minister

Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (right) received a jet from his father this week. Johor's Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar gave the plane to Tunku Ismail on his 31st birthday on Tuesday. Pictures of the Crown Prince receivi
Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (right) received a jet from his father this week. Johor's Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar gave the plane to Tunku Ismail on his 31st birthday on Tuesday. Pictures of the Crown Prince receiving the jet, together with his father, were uploaded on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page. PHOTO: JOHOR SOUTHERN TIGERS FACEBOOK PAGE

Outspoken royal's Facebook post criticises media for playing up tiff between the parties

PETALING JAYA • The Johor Crown Prince has called for a ceasefire in his prolonged war of words with Malaysian Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz, saying he was ready to "bury the issue" as the dispute was not going anywhere, Malaysia's The Star newspaper reported.

Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim announced his intention to end their spat in a post he wrote on Wednesday on the Facebook page of the Johor Southern Tigers football club, of which he is president.

He blamed the media for pitting the two against each other: "I urge all media to stop playing (up) this issue between myself and Nazri and the government. I know you are all enjoying the show. I have said all I needed to say so please respect this holy month of Ramadan and let me and my family enjoy it in peace."

The tiff between the two started after Tunku Ismail posted a comment appearing to accuse Prime Minister Najib Razak of having "everything to hide" after the latter failed to turn up at a forum held last month to address concerns surrounding debt-ridden state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and other national issues.

Responding to Tunku Ismail, Datuk Seri Nazri told the prince that he should stay out of politics unless he wanted to be subjected to the same rule and be "whacked".

ENOUGH SAID

I have said all I needed to say so please respect this holy month of Ramadan and let me and my family enjoy it in peace.

TUNKU ISMAIL SULTAN IBRAHIM

That sparked a series of replies from both sides, with the prince making a beckoning gesture in a brief, wordless video clip he posted, seeming to imply that he was not afraid to face any challenge. The dispute led to a police investigation against Mr Nazri, who was accused of inciting public mischief with his remarks against the Crown Prince.

The investigation has since been handed over to Malaysia's Attorney-General's Chambers, the Malay Mail Online reported. But Tunku Ismail told Malaysiakini that he did not believe anything would come out of the investigation.

In his Facebook post, Tunku Ismail said he would continue to speak up on behalf of Johoreans and the state. "For now, let's bury this issue between me and Nazri because it's not going anywhere and to be honest, I am getting bored of it," he said.

In jest, Tunku Ismail suggested that the media organise a kickboxing match between him and Mr Nazri, with the proceeds going to charity, before adding that he was "only kidding".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2015, with the headline 'Johor prince calls truce in verbal spat with minister'. Print Edition | Subscribe